Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Summary

Just a few items today.
Don't know if I believe this: A Chinese driver managed to accumulate $55,000 in toll fees in 9 months time. [How? One wonders.] He's been sentenced to life in prison and $300,000 fine. China is very rough on scofflaws, apparently.

With North America shivering under one blizzard after another, the West coast dealing with mud slides and almost all of the province of Queensland in Australia under flood conditions, it's time those few doubters realize we're in a period of severe climate change. 2010 was the wettest year in recorded history -- or at least since Noah's time. It was the hottest since 1805 when temperatures began beingt recorded.

It may not seem so in Queensland, but actually 90% of the world's fresh water is trapped in ice in Antarctica. In that least hospitable continent, temperatures can drop as low as 97 degrees below freezing and winds can reach 200 miles per hour.

The most disturbing thing I came across this week was from an article in the January Vanity Fair about the testing of new drugs to prove their effectiveness is done abroad, often in poor countries and usually handled by private companies, not by the American drug manufacturers. Control of methods is not only lax but easily faked and likely to be not applicable to conditions in the US. This is only a hint of the extent of the problem. Anyone interested should read the article by clicking here. Why should we know about this? Well two of the world's biggest drug companies, Pfizer and Glaxo have both recently set aside literally billions of dollars in anticipation of paying legal fees to defend against suits stemming from the deaths many people who've died from drug side effects that were KNOWN to the drug companies who continued to sell their very expensive drugs despite knowing that they were doing as much harm as good. It's a very scary situation and being educated about it is your best protection.


Rayna said...

Hi June - just want to tell you the link to the drug article doesn't work: the h seems to be missing from the http://.

June Calender said...

Thanks, Rayna, I'll fix it if I can.

Kass said...

Sometimes I just want to go live high up on a mountain and watch the water rise.


June -- An article that will complement your fantastic mention of the drug industry is below. It was in a recent Atlantic magazine.

This mishandling of drugs situation is scary. My question is how will we ever discover the real truth behind all this mess since it is spread around the globe. I don't think the government has the power to investigate beyond its borders? Just rambling abut the situation.

I am with Kass -- just live high on a mountain somewhere (and don't take pills anymore). -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks for the article, Barbara. Medicine and doctors have always been scary although I know many who are wonderful, conscientious people. Big Pharma is not different from all the other big industries; it's bottom line and ethics are PR not practices. I"m glad wide distribution magazines are looking at the problem and telling their readers some of the things that happen.